National trends in the outcomes of subarachnoid haemorrhage and the prognostic influence of stroke centre capability in Japan: retrospective cohort study

BMJ Open. 2023 Apr 10;13(4):e068642. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-068642.


Objectives: To examine the national, 6-year trends in in-hospital clinical outcomes of patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) who underwent clipping or coiling and the prognostic influence of temporal trends in the Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) capabilities on patient outcomes in Japan.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Six hundred and thirty-one primary care institutions in Japan.

Participants: Forty-five thousand and eleven patients with SAH who were urgently hospitalised, identified using the J-ASPECT Diagnosis Procedure Combination database.

Primary and secondary outcome measures: Annual number of patients with SAH who remained untreated, or who received clipping or coiling, in-hospital mortality and poor functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale: 3-6) at discharge. Each CSC was assessed using a validated scoring system (CSC score: 1-25 points).

Results: In the overall cohort, in-hospital mortality decreased (year for trend, OR (95% CI): 0.97 (0.96 to 0.99)), while the proportion of poor functional outcomes remained unchanged (1.00 (0.98 to 1.02)). The proportion of patients who underwent clipping gradually decreased from 46.6% to 38.5%, while that of those who received coiling and those left untreated gradually increased from 16.9% to 22.6% and 35.4% to 38%, respectively. In-hospital mortality of coiled (0.94 (0.89 to 0.98)) and untreated (0.93 (0.90 to 0.96)) patients decreased, whereas that of clipped patients remained stable. CSC score improvement was associated with increased use of coiling (per 1-point increase, 1.14 (1.08 to 1.20)) but not with short-term patient outcomes regardless of treatment modality.

Conclusions: The 6-year trends indicated lower in-hospital mortality for patients with SAH (attributable to better outcomes), increased use of coiling and multidisciplinary care for untreated patients. Further increasing CSC capabilities may improve overall outcomes, mainly by increasing the use of coiling. Additional studies are necessary to determine the effect of confounders such as aneurysm complexity on outcomes of clipped patients in the modern endovascular era.

Keywords: Neurosurgery; VASCULAR SURGERY.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endovascular Procedures* / methods
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / therapy
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage* / complications
  • Treatment Outcome